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WHATNative elder teachings incorporated into North Dakota's school system classrooms, lesson plans and curriculum.
WHYTo provide opportunities for Native elders, tribal Elders and educational leaders to contribute to the education system through tribal stories, songs and cultural perspectives, and to foster culturally responsive classrooms.
WHERETeachings Of Our Elders.
North Dakota Department of Public Instruction.
North Dakota, USA.

Program Description

“Rather than simply being a document on a shelf or worse, a ‘mandate’ that elicits both resistance among teachers who see no value in yet another task on their plate, and resistance among native communities who tend to be justifiably wary of ‘state sponsored’ cultural initiatives the Elder interviews become powerful learning connections and primary source materials for teachers, noted as legitimate and authentic by communities.”

“the immediacy and ‘oral tradition’ nature of Elders etc. is irreplaceable. Part of the modeling, in fact, is modeling how non-native teachers defer to the true experts the Elders on matters of culture.”

“…elder interviews …create a priceless library of knowledge, wisdom, story and song that might otherwise be lost.”

Native elder teachings include the contributions of Native elders through video interviews, speaking, telling stories, singing, and other resources dedicated to educating in schools and passing down wisdom.

Teachings Of Our Elders is based on the North Dakota Native American Essential Understandings which was introduced by the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction and tribal Elders, and emphasizes the importance of Sacred Relatives, Learning & Storytelling, Learning & Storytelling, Sense of Humor, Tribal Policies, Treaties & Sovereignty, Native Contributions and Native Identity.

The program aims to increase understanding of Native culture in Native and non-Native students across North Dakota and foster culturally responsive classrooms.

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